When designing outdoor spaces, more homeowners are thinking about how the materials they choose can affect the environment. We use concrete in many efficient, sustainable ways, and one way is to design and lay down a project using concrete pavers.
Concrete pavers are environmentally friendly in two chief ways: they can allow runoff flow into groundwater resources and let plants grow in and around the stones!
How Permeable Concrete Pavers Can Help Preserve Groundwater
Groundwater is the water reserves found below ground in any cracks in rock, soil, clay, and sand. It’s a primary source of drinking water for both urban and rural populations, as well as nourishing deep-rooted trees and ecosystems. In Canada and around the world, resource extraction and the overuse of impermeable materials threatens these reserves in many areas.
Concrete pavers can be eco-friendly because we can design them to leave space between the blocks used to make up the surface. Much of what makes concrete pavers eco-friendly is not just the design of the brick – it can also be what’s beneath. Concrete pavers are often installed on top of a sand aggregate that slowly absorbs drainage as it soaks into the ground. We can also install drainage devices underneath the pavers that redirect water to a spot where it can reenter the ecosystem away from your home.
Concrete Pavers And Green Spaces
Homeowners can choose pavers if they want a solid surface that is also green – both literally and figuratively. You can find pavers poured and shaped in ways that let grass, plants, and other foliage grow around and through the stones. Rather than look elevated above the ground, the pavers can appear at the same level as the grass or garden. When designed and tended to properly, this creates a fresh, singular look that is ideal for outdoor living and a beautiful addition to the landscaping.
Greenery grows right through open concrete grid systems. Strong enough to handle vehicles while offering excellent drainage and erosion protection, open concrete grid blocks are commonly filled with soil and then planted with grass or a durable ground cover.
How Concrete Is Already Eco-Friendly
How builders and contractors use concrete makes it an eco-friendly solution, whether it comes as pavers or as a slab. Concrete experts can make sure that all of the materials they use are recycled, and that they reuse excess or removed materials in other projects. Also, by using gravel, sand, or other aggregates from local sources, they can keep the job as clean as possible. Concrete is also a durable material with a long lifespan, meaning it doesn’t have to be torn down and replaced nearly as often as other materials.
There are many practical reasons to choose pavers. Many impermeable surfaces have to be built to direct water to storm-drains; permeable pavers used in projects like driveways allow water to flow through open spaces between or through the concrete. They also let rain and snowmelt flow through the concrete rather than pool on the surface, and the anti-flooding infiltration can keep high-traffic areas very dry!